You are currently browsing the archives for January 2014.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 7 entries.

Out and about

  • Posted on January 25, 2014 at 11:19 pm

When I began this blog over two years ago, I had realised where I was heading. I had given up fighting and self-hating, and was determined that all pretence should be over. I decided the best way to survive was to communicate, and that meant being ‘out’, online and well before announcing myself fully to my world, and losing my marriage and family. I was just me, and that must mean natural, and if different, then normally different. I no longer felt terrified of being discovered for being the wicked, even perverted, person I had long thought I must be, underneath the much nicer façade everyone knew.

I have said most of what needs to be said, I think. I can debate many things over and again, and there are some subjects I want to return to in coming months. But I guess my writing should embrace wider thoughts, and I want to bring in more poetry. I have begun doing this, and in speaking with people I meet, I casually say they can read it online. Well, it’s one thing to have a poetry blog, quite another to host it on a site that was set up to explain and observe gender dysphoria!

This blog outs me as much now as it did at the start. I am getting used to the fact that some people simply don’t know my ‘gender status’, so now it’s doing the opposite. Back then, people still encountered me as if I were a man, and I was saying ‘No! I’m not!’. Now people who only know me as a woman are finding out my history by reading the same thing. Are they thinking I’m not really a woman? Well, I have to live with that. My history is my history, and there’s no point hiding it. I would rather help the cause that a lot of people are born trans, and some of them truly transsexual, and that this is a perfectly normal human experience. Yes, it runs counter to the comforting social division of male and female, but it’s about time we faced that truth.

For me, there is a great deal of continuity, with a massive step change, but for some new readers, it may come as a surprise. Will I change my view in six months’ time? I am heading finally to the surgical treatment I need in order to conform with my identity. Once gain I shall have to think carefully how to phrase the explanation for an absence at work and socially. Some will be incredulous or squeamish, some may understand. My feeling is that ‘reconstructive surgery’ says enough and accurately so. But something will need to be said, just like my first big coming out, to avoid speculative, uninformed and unnecessary gossip.

For my part, I am of course going to feel a lot of anxiety the closer this time gets. It’s scary as well as the thing I’ve dreamed of for quite some time. Having seen the reality of what I can expect, my innermost feelings of how I should be, have gone into overdrive. The effect is to put me, much further ahead than necessary, into nesting mode. I’ve been sorting my flat out by completing renovations to my bathroom. No longer truffle brown, it is oyster and pink (I know, I did say lilac before, but pink just happened). And I could have painted the whole place today, the more I felt I was putting my own homeliness into it. I’ve started thinking about collecting my favourite music, a supply of books, lining up friends to visit and help, and planning projects at work to finish in time. I’m excited already.

If anyone wanted proof of a gender dysphoria diagnosis, this must be it! Who else in their right mind would have this as a dream of fulfilment? And afterwards, when there is nothing more that has to be done, will I still want to be out, or just content to explain when required? I suspect ‘open’ will be a better description than ‘out’.

Today I spent all afternoon and evening in my old overalls, painting, fixing, fitting up a new heated towel rail to plumb in tomorrow, and smeared and spotted with paint. For the first time the decorating has been just for me. No-one to say: ‘Um; isn’t that just a bit too pink?’ And that in itself feels strange. But I caught myself in the mirror towards the end, and was almost surprised to see not what I was when I’ve always done this before, but genuinely looking girly. A girl in overalls, doing what I’ve always done.

I feel good. Very good. This is my nest, and I’m not hiding why. Out and about, that’s me, and this blog.


  • Posted on January 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Thirty steps to many hearts, hurts and
all these echoes spoken by doors

the singular, the anguished one-way
phone call that cannot reach

the hearts alight in family wholeness
voiced to one another

the child in protest between parents
both of whom would own their time

creaks and groans of lovers engaged
freely in orgasmic pursuit

the inconsolable belly-opening grief
poured to a door that’s closed

and the telephone that rings and rings
in the space where an absence lives

or dies unknown through unhearing walls
doors without keys just a letter-slot

wide enough when the police knock, bend
look, listen, with radio voices, leave

down thirty steps of unseen hearts, hopes,
hurts and lives spoken only by doors

2013 © Andie Davidson

Pigeon holes

  • Posted on January 21, 2014 at 9:59 pm

He’s leaning from the window,
awkward, empties smoky lungs
withdraws into yellow light where
curtains are never drawn, and spare.

The elegant black lady never sees,
from her complicated kitchen whose
aromas might intrigue, across the
garden-patch five floors down.

Nor does she see the blue-lit room
twenty-four hours of daylight, green
through frosted glass and never a face
to person such evident herbal care.

Mum, close-cropped white, below,
two daughters who dance—her man
keeps his bicycle in the hall by the
post-it fridge, three floors up—or down.

Tabby patrols a kitchen-diner, left,
where a family of four revolves
in the same space I, alone, find crowded
missing loft, garden, conservatory, cat.

Between replaced windows, wood peels,
uncared, framing substitute curtains
condensation-stained, misfit, sad
suggestions of difficult, puzzling lives.

Assumptions lie behind each square,
portraits of those I see but never meet,
and I—new face in an old window—
perhaps ‘that strange lady on her own’.

In the end we all stop looking out,
we have come to carefully pretend
alone or cramped, that we are not
homing pigeons resting in our holes.

2014 © Andie Davidson

Fox, red

  • Posted on January 19, 2014 at 2:53 pm

For a long time I thought it was the wind
channelled around the building, humming
its low tones into my rooms.

I’d lived too long in a house, my mind
on the roof, for rattles and rumours
of tomorrow’s urgent repairs.

But as I became accustomed to rails,
felt dark drumming under my feet,
the song was commuted, like rain.


Today I thought it was trains and sleepers
hammered in ballast on the ten-minute turn
but the wind had won with trees.

In the late sun, the unsung rails ran rust red
neither glint nor well-oiled silent shift
of points in these roots to my home.

Just a silent brazen fox, trotting down
the long, empty, parallel track, unaware
of any change above his earthy den.

2014 © Andie Davidson

An act of kindness

  • Posted on January 19, 2014 at 9:41 am

Today I threw away a blog post. Too much a Sunday sermon. Instead I just want to be bright.

Regular readers will know that I slipped into considerable despondency over letters that take two months to type up (it’s 2014 folks, there’s technology available), and appointments that take five months to be arranged, and waiting lists that add a further nine months. Would it really take five years, from recognising what my whole-life problem had been, to receiving final treatment?

My despondency on the phone led me to ask one final question two weeks ago. Who could I ask about how long funding decisions take? A name was offered, a helpful person told me that it was cleared two months ago but never communicated.

Then, due to an act of kindness, I found that I could have my funding redirected to a different provider. The NHS is not against this, and all my paperwork for surgery is already complete.

Another kindness: being able to talk about and see the results of this surgeon. We need this, not just photos and explanations.

Reassured, I made phone calls and wrote emails. Suddenly there were people who were being kind, who were talking to each other, returning my calls, including me in, emailing each other, transferring documents. Goodness, they were just being nice, and helpful, and reassuring. In the space of a week all is in place, a first appointment made, and suddenly I know where I’m going. It will cut a year off my wait for treatment, and at last I have a horizon, over which the sun is finally rising.

Perhaps it is the contrast, but I saw in how I was spoken to, dealt with and responded to, more kindness than I’ve felt from NHS services in most of my gender encounters so far. So all I really want to say this week is that I am back in the world of sheer gratitude. I haven’t cheated the system, but I have sought kindness and found it.

Thank you to everyone involved.